Looking to get into old movie cameras

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    • #89386

      Hi all!

      Uncle recently digitized all my grandpa’s old home movies and watching it made me want to start getting into filming. The problem is I know NOTHING about old home movie cameras! I would love something that could record sound, but I’m not sure how early that was available for people. If there was something from the 60’s that would be perfect! I love antique and vintage things so kind of the older the better. I’d like to be able to shoot in color, but I just have no idea what brands to even look up.

      Any links to articles or any advice information is appreciated πŸ™‚

      Thank you!

    • #213694

      Kelseyr89, good for you that you have taken an interest in techniques from the past. Equipment, film and processing is not easy to get, but still available. The lowest cost will probably be Super 8, which is color and generally has sound. The tricky part is that film and processing are expensive. 50ft of film costs about $30-40 and processing @$20 for 2.5 minutes. So you could be looking at @ $ 500.00 for 25 minutes of film. A lot more if you decide to go with 16mm film. Check out youtube and the internet for more. Let us know how you decide to go.

    • #213702

      Hello Kelseyr89,
      You may be interested to know that Kodak is reviving Super 8.
      Take a look at this :

    • #213718

      Look at the work and writings of Canada’s Guy Maddin. Maddin has done much of his work in Super-8 and 16mm film. He’s a brilliant filmmaker, completely original and highly inventive in his camera work. There’s an excellent introduction to Maddin and his filmography in Wikipedia.

      My son was lead makeup artist on Maddin’s “Brand upon the Brain” and was amazed at the flexibility the small Super-8 camera gave to Maddin, who did much of the filming himself and could insert himself directly into a scene among the actors rather than filming it objectively from outside the scene as a much larger camera would dictate.

    • #213735

      Sound was NOT really a feature of the Super 8 system for most users, and pros relied on a separate audio recorder, and then some faffing around to sync the two together. The big problem was that while the cameras should have recorded at a constant speed, they rarely did, making sync very difficult. 16mm was different, sound was still separate, but proper cameras had a pulse output that would be recorded onto one track on the audio recorder, and then on replay, the tape could follow the picture, keeping in sync. 16mm would have separate or combined audio systems for replay. COMOPT – combined optical soundtracks, with the audio as a wiggly line on the edge of the film or SEPMAG, with a separate magnetic recoding.

      The really silly thing was that Super8 was meant to have sound incorporated when it was invented (unlike Standard 8, which eventually evolved to have a very narrow sound track on one side) and it was in the spec that an oxide stripe would be applied to the edge, for sound. This didn’t work too well, because it made the film thicker on one side, and it would spool to one side. They then added a dummy oxide stripe at the other side. The trouble was the system appealed to home users, who were very non technical, and the cameras made a lot of noise, so even on the expensive ones, sound was pretty horrible. As a result, camera sales tended to be at the simple end of the model ranges, which didn’t bother with sound at all. I don’t think that you can buy sound film any more – but silent film is still made.

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